A HILARIOUS routine where characters bashed each other off a wall while singing got Weymouth’s annual laugh-fest off to a fine start.

My two young charges barked with hearty laughter as Prince Daniel of Dorchester belted Muddles, Muddles belted the prince and Princess Briar Rose also went crashing off repeatedly.

“Queen Thelma was funny,” says Robert, nine. “Especially when she fell over and her wig came off.”

The ‘mistakes’ in the show seemed to provide many of the boys’ favourite moments.

They loved the 12 Days of Christmas routine near the end, where the Queen ended up sprawling on the floor with her wig several feet away, and the routine where the royal party was trying to get some sleep in haunted rooms. “What time is it?” wonders Muddles, getting a trumpet out and giving it a toot. “WHO IS MAKING THAT NOISE AT TWO O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING?” bellows the queen. “Ah, it’s two o’clock,” says Muddles.

They also loved the witch’s battle with the prince after she turned into a dragon, and loved Muddles’ trick, where he turned a piece of paper into a snowstorm.

Lee Redwood, who plays Queen Thelma and who also directed the show, wove plenty of panto magic into the proceedings, including a genius routine with King Raymond using Dorset place names.

Some great comedy costumes added to the fun, which was narrated by Fairy Snowflake (Michelle Whitney). The evil Fairy Carabosse (Yvonne Patterson) had a great voice, and there were plenty of boos for her when she swept on stage to have a go at offing the princess once again.

The show was held together, really, and made memorable by the very funny Gwynfryn West, as Muddles, and Lee as the Queen.

The pair of them had a great rapport, which energised the rest of the cast and pulled the show along, making it a must for families in the festive season.